New York is a year-round destination, but the tourist population is at its most dense in the summer and between American Thanksgiving and New Year’s. If you want to experience a slightly quieter New York, visit in the dead of winter, like I just did.
Winter travel can be a drag. Snowstorms are common in the Northeastern United States, and temperatures can vary wildly. However, hotels are a little cheaper, tickets for shows are the same price, but the seat choices are better, restaurants and bars are easier to get into, and if you want to see a tv show taping, far less effort may be required on your part. Continue reading Visit New York in the winter? YES!→
In the Camino forums and the pilgrim gatherings I’ve attended, a lot of people have a lot of questions and anxiety about one important matter: sleeping. So much so, a lot of prospective pilgrims I met put their feet down and booked private accommodations before they even laid a foot on the path.
Experienced pilgrims will tell you, “Everyone walks their own Camino,” and sleeping is no exception. There is no right way to sleep across Spain, but I’m of the opinion you’ll get more out of the Camino experience if you experience more than a private room with ensuite. Except for two nights, I stayed in the common room of public and private albergues every night, which I ended up really enjoying in a “We’re all in this together!” sort of way and recommend for all of the good, bad and indifferent things that go along with that. Continue reading Sleeping and Accommodations on the Camino de Santiago→
Short version: 2014 was an amazing year of travel for me.
I went to four different places I’ve wanted to visit for a long time and managed a return to New York while I was at it.
New York (hello, old friend)
2014 was remarkable because I only made it to NYC once this year (not a real problem, I know). Even though I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve visited NYC, this was my first trip taking public transit to and from Laguardia, thanks to a late-2013 change to the Q70 routing. It’s now an airport limited service, connecting Laguardia to the E/F/M/R/7 trains into Manhattan.
I visited in May, when spring was in full force and it was simply splendid. However, we did have a cracker of a storm one night, which yielded this unforgettable image captured by a lucky fellow over in Brooklyn:
Last nights storm in NYC. One WTC and Empire state building both being struck by lightning at the same time. pic.twitter.com/E05kr8CNAh
Travel is one of my greatest joys, exploring new corners of the world and finding adventure along the way. Learning about Christmas traditions in other places is a special treat, too, from the Yule lads of Iceland to my dear Caga Tio from Catalunya.
When I traveled in Spain in 2011, the beer was … fine. A number of the large commercial brands I drank reminded me of the large commercial brands I avoid in North America. For Spain, lighter beers are well-suited for the climate in some areas, particularly in the heat of Andalucia. Again, they were … fine, but I wasn’t longing for them when I got home.
When I returned to Spain in 2014, it was a whole new world. A world of cerveza artesanal. And it was good.